Ep. 91 – Lawrence Harkless, DPM, FACFAS – Part 2/ Educator/Leader/Mentor/Icon

Dean’s Chat host, Dr. Jeffrey Jensen is joined by Lawrence B. Harkless, DPM to discuss his distinguished career in podiatric medicine. In this Part 2 episode, Dr. Harkless discusses his time in San Antonio and many of his residents and fellows that have made a difference nationwide in our profession.

Dr. Harkless is currently an Adjunct Professor Department of Orthopedics UT – San Antonio Long School of Medicine and Professor Emeritus UTRGV School of Podiatric Medicine. He’s also the Founding Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, the College of Podiatric Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA He has served in both public and private universities known for clinical and research excellence, including the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Western University of Health Sciences.

His research program has been interprofessional and collaborative in nature, and he has built upon a team approach to further scientific discovery. His research has focused on Amputation Prevention in Diabetes and wound healing, and global Podiatric public health, for which he has received numerous grants and awards. He has impacted the entire arena of diabetic foot, including the development and validation of wound and risk stratification models. The risk and wound classification systems have provided a taxonomy that allows clinicians to communicate worldwide improving patient-centered outcomes and reducing the impact of health care costs.

His passion for Education was recognized receiving the Presidential in Excellence Teaching Award University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio 1998. In 2001, the American Diabetes Association awarded Dr. Harkless the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award. Hailed as “the father of diabetic foot care,” he is recognized nationally and internationally for his scientific and scholarly contributions, serving on scientific advisory panels for industry and government (CDC, HHS, NIH, VA, and FDA). Moreover, he has edited textbooks and has published more than 130 peer reviewed articles and book chapters He was appointed to the Texas Diabetes Council in 1995 by Governor George W. Bush, serving as Chair from 2001-2007.

Dr. Harkless, an ACFAS Fellow, is a founding member and the First Chair of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Council on Foot Care and is a past member of the ADA Board of Directors. He is also past president of the National Podiatric Medical Association and the Texas Podiatric Medical Association. He chaired the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) inaugural Diabetic Foot Stream for the 2017 annual meeting. Dr. Harkless has received numerous awards at the state, national, and international level for his inter-professional education and service contributions in amputation prevention in diabetes and wound care.

A native Texan, Dr. Harkless did his undergraduate work at The University of North Texas and is a graduate of the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco where he was a member of the Honor Society. He completed his internship at UTHSCSA and his residency in Podiatric Surgery at Atlanta Hospital and Medical Center in Georgia. He and his wife Gerry of 43 years have two children Erin Paige (Charles)and Lawrence Bernard Jr (Elizabeth): Five grandchildren Eliana, Zola, Elijah, Charles, and Ethan. www.expolorepodmed.org

In this episode of Dean’s Chat, Dr. Jeffrey Jensen interviews Dr. Lawrence Harkless, a highly influential podiatrist in the field of diabetic foot care. Dr. Harkless has significantly contributed to the profession through teaching, research, and publications. As the founding dean of two colleges of podiatric medicine, he has mentored numerous students, residents, and fellows. Tune in for an interesting episode diving into Dr. Harkless’ career.

In this episode, Dr. Harkless emphasizes the importance of a good teacher meeting each student where they are and giving them the necessary time to grow. He shares his own experience of dedicating more time to weaker students rather than smarter ones. While acknowledging competing priorities, he believes that there is no better feeling than instilling confidence in people and allowing them the time to develop. Dr. Harkless refers to this as “the will to be and do,” recognizing that it varies for each person.